Where Did Duffel Bags Come From, and Why Are They So Popular

Duffel bags are some of the trendiest bags in London and all over the world. This handy, classic bag has a surprisingly rich history, making it a well-loved item for millions of people throughout the years. 

In its initial form, the Duffel bag was a long cylinder-shaped bag that dates back to the 17th century. In fact, "Duffel" is the village name in Flanders, Belgium, where thick, coarse woollen cloth-like material was produced. Originally distributed throughout Europe, this material was the choice for carrying heavy products in sacks.

The History of Duffel Bags 

Duffel bags (sometimes spelt “duffle”) get their name from the thick material used to make them. Duffel is a Belgian village near Antwerp that produced the bag's coarse, woollen material in the mid-17th century. 

The phrase "duffel bag" originally referred to a single form of bag that was big, cylindrical, and closed at the top by a drawstring or zipper. However, over time, the name "duffel" (or "duffle") bag has come to refer to any big holdall container made up of thick fabric. 

e.e. cummings, a poet who served as an ambulance driver during World War I, is credited with coining the term "Duffel Bag." The lyric 'Pack up your troubles in an old kit bag,' from a popular wartime song, was assumed to relate to a duffel bag. 

Many of the bags that carried military supplies were these long cylinder-shaped bags with drawstring rope to secure the top. American and British soldiers used duffel bags to carry their equipment and clothing. These were great during the war since they could be flat packed while not in use and then utilised to transport all sorts of items. 

The military also utilised these cylinder bags during World War II. After the war, like with other products, the extra pieces were sold by army surplus stores. They eventually became trendy items purchased by surfers in California and Australia.

The Modern Duffel Bag

Duffel bags have developed a lot over time; they still retain the cylinder shape, but most don't have a drawstring to close the top. The majority of them include zippers to keep their contents safe. Instead of the heavy-duty cloth that was initially used, many bags are now made of durable leather, which is ideal for this sort of bag.

Today, the term "duffle bag" refers to a range of big holdall bags that may be used for various purposes. Duffel bags, sometimes known as “weekender' bags,” have become very fashionable, primarily because they are so adaptable. They make excellent gym bags and bags for carrying clothing when travelling. They are simple to pack and carry, with double-handled grips along with a shoulder strap, making them convenient and pleasant to hold. 

Many people prefer to use duffel bags as carry-on luggage because they can easily stuff all their essentials in such a flexible bag.


Duffel bags became popular among travellers who seek a blend of durability and traditional aesthetics. With its spacious storage, convenient handling, and appealing style, there's no surprise why duffel bags have remained one of the top choices when you buy bags in London.

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